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Karen Palumbo

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Blogs by Karen Palumbo

On This Day 1/8/1821
1/13/2011 5:35:09 PM

Confederate General James Longstreet is born


Confederate General James Longstreet is born near Edgefield, South Carolina. General Longstreet became one of the most successful Generals in the Confederate Army, but after the "War Between the States" was a target of some of his comrades, who were searching for a scapegoat.

General Longstreet grew up in Georgia and attended West Point, New York, graduating fifty-fourth in a class of sixty-two in 1842. General Longstreet was a close friend of General Ulysses S. Grant, and served as best man in General Grant's 1848 wedding to Julia Dent, General Longstreet's fourth cousin.

General Longstreet fought in the Mexican War and was wounded at the "Battle of Chapultepec. General Longstreet served in the Army until he resigned at the beginning of the "War Between the States", when he was named Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.

General Longstreet fought at the "First Battle of Bull Run" and within a year was Commander of the Corps in the "Army of Northern Virginia" under General Robert E. Lee. Upon the death of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson at the "Battle of Chancellorsville" in May 1863, General Longstreet was considered the most effective Corps Commander in General Robert E. Lee's Army.

General Longstreet served with General Lee for the remainder of the "War Between the States", except for the fall of 1863, when General Longstreet took his troops to aid the Confederate effort in Tennessee.

General Longstreet was severely wounded at the "Battle of the Wilderness" in May 1864, and he did not return to service for six months. General Longstreet resumed service and fought with General Lee until the surrender at Appomattox in April 1865.

After the "War Between the States", General Longstreet engaged in a number of businesses and held several governmental posts, most notably United States Minister to Turkey. Although successful, General Longstreet made two moves that greatly tarnished his reputation among his fellow southerners.

General Longstreet joined the despised Republican Party and publicly questioned General Lee's strategy at the pivotal "Battle of Gettysburg". General Longstreet's Officers considered these sins to be unforgivable, and former comrades such as General Jubal Early and General John Gordon attacked General Longstreet as a traitor.

General Early and General Gordon asserted that, in fact, General Longstreet was responsible for the errors that lost the "Battle of Gettysburg". General Longstreet outlived most of his comrades and detractors, but died on January 2, 1904. General Longstreet's second wife, Helen Dortch lived until 1962.



(K) (HST)


James Longstreet Confederate General
Ulysses S. Grant Union General
President - USA
Julia Dent Wife of
General Ulysses S. Grant
Cousin to
General James Longstreet
Robert E. Lee Confederate General
Thomas J. "Stonewall"
Jackson Confederate General
Jubal Early Confederate General
John Gordon Confederate General
Helen Dortch Second wife of
Confederate General
James Longstreet


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